Beaches of Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island

The beaches of Florida's Emerald Coast are captivating. The sands under your bare feet were once Appalachian quartz, washed from rivers and tumbled by the tides to fine white powder over thousands of years. The white sands and sunlight combine to give these Gulf waters their emerald green vibrance. No matter what else you experience on your trip, the calming, pristine beaches of Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Okaloosa Island form a picturesque backdrop for your dream vacation.

Beach Access

Destin beach access includes James Lee Park on the east end of Destin, Henderson Beach State Park, East Pass right under the “Welcome to Destin” sign and with fantastic views of the harbor, and the newly redeveloped Noriego Point access. Learn more about Destin beaches.

The Boardwalk on Okaloosa Island is the place for beach day entertainment, places to eat, and access to the beach. For an even more relaxed beach, go to John Beasley Park just west of the boardwalk or the various numbered beach access points along Okaloosa Island.

Find out more about parking, boardwalks, picnic areas, restrooms, and other beach access amenities.

Beach Flags and Safety

Visiting the beach along the Emerald Coast is a lot of fun and can make for relaxing ― or even adventurous ― outing. Come out and play in the crystal-clear waters or catch some rays from the cozy sand any any of the public beach access points, but be sure to abide by the beach flag warning system and safety guidelines. Also important: be prepared for potential rip tides and weather by checking the tide charts and currents.

Sunrise, Sunset

Destin, Fort Walton Beach ,Okaloosa Island are positioned on the Gulf such that the sun rises and sets over the water throughout much of  the year. Find the perfect spot in the sand to watch the sunrise and make the perfect dinner reservations to enjoy Gulf cuisine at a waterfront restaurant with a sunset view. Check seasonal times and locales for the rising and setting sun.

“Leave Only Your Footprints”

Our beaches are a natural wonder because they’re pristine and well maintained. They’re also the habitat of nesting and hatching sea turtles which need a clear path out to the water. Be sure to understand beach rules on the guidelines and preservation page. In short ― no glass, no fires, no camping, no dogs, and leave only your footprints in the sand when you leave.